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Jakarta Post

'Caste' system for Indonesian schools: Teachers criticize Nadiem's new zoning policy

  • Karina M. Tehusijarana and Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Tue, December 17, 2019   /  09:33 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Give your best!: Students, accompanied by their parents, line up to enroll at SMA 1 state high school in Depok, West Java, on Tuesday. (Antara/Yulius Satria Wijaya )

Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim’s changes to the school zoning system may be popular among some parents, but experts and teachers have criticized them as moves that undermine the system’s main goal of providing quality public education for all. “We strongly disagree with the changes,” Indonesian Teachers Association chairman M. Ramli Rahim told The Jakarta Post. “The new policy is a return to a ‘caste’ system for schools.” First implemented in 2017, the zoning system requires state schools to prioritize enrollment for students who live within certain designated districts, with the aim of reducing the variance in state school quality and to put an end to so-called “favorite schools” – top state schools that have increasingly been filled by high-achieving students from wealthy families.&nbs...